Inter-ministerial committee briefs media on Vuwani

Inter-ministerial committee briefs media on Vuwani

The Minister of Cooperative Governance, Des van Rooyen, said funding has been reprioritised to assist key areas in Vuwani in Limpopo following violent protests.

Des van Rooyen_gcis
The Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Des van Rooyen. GCIS

The minister was part of the inter-ministerial committee who briefed the media on Tuesday on the progress government has made in Vuwani.

Van Rooyen said funding has been reprioritised since the provincial executive committee endorsed the notice to declare Vuwani a disaster area.

"The province has reprioritised funding to ensure it deals with key areas requiring urgent attention and funding," van Rooyen said.

A total of 27 schools were damaged in the Vuwani area after the Polokwane High Court at the end of April ruled in favour of the Municipal Demarcation Board against Vuwani residents who want their own municipality.

"We have met with our learners on several occasions. They have made it very clear that as we continue to burn their schools, we burn their future. It leaves us with no other conclusion but that this action is by a few who threaten to derail the gains we have made thus far since we started engaging with all stakeholders in the area."

According to van Rooyen, 42 of 76 mobile classrooms have since been delivered to schools following the vandalism.

Van Rooyen said police presence has also been increased.

"I must indicate that 30 suspects were arrested and are awaiting bail. Amongst those arrested is a councillor from the Makhado Local Municipality and a teacher currently working at the circuit offices. All the suspects are behind bars until their court appearances," he said.

Limpopo's Coorperative Governance MEC Makoma Makhurupetje said there were still reports of intimidation and that despite engagement with communities, some areas remain problematic.

"We do get those reports that somebody wrote a letter to say that taxis must not operate or teachers must not go to school. We are attending to that matter and we think we are really finding a solution to that problem. So, for us, it is a continuous process.

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